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Author Topic: 34 years old and need total knee replacement  (Read 896 times)

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Offline healthyshanda

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34 years old and need total knee replacement
« on: March 03, 2012, 06:25:46 AM »
Hello. I am new and come to find out what others think and see if there are other people in the same boat.

To start off with a little history of myself. I am 34 years old. Last year I underwent gastric bypass surgery and I have lost a total of 226 pounds and I have about 150 more pounds to go to get to my goal weight. I've been overweight my entire life but I've been over 400 pounds for maybe the last 10 years. My knee pain is not like it was but I still have bad days and boy are they bad! But at least I have some good days (or at least the pain is disconnected). My family history tells me that I should have known I was screwed. :) So my Dad had total knee replacement 2 years ago. Prior to that he had about 9 arthroscopic surgeries (5 on one knee and 4 on the other). It was all work related injuries (he was a cop). My Mom has had 3 arthroscopic surgeries and is having full knee replacement in April. My grandfather (on Mom's side) has had both hips replaced, both knees replaced and an ankle fused. So I don't have a good background of knees. (As a side note my mother-in-law had knee replacement in December and hubby is having arthroscopic surgery on his knee on Monday).

So I visited the knee surgeon this morning and I got nothing but bad news and I am totally devistated. The surgeon basically told me need total knee replacement on my left knee. It is bone on bone and won't extend straight (which is why I went in because I can't put my knee straight). He said it is also bowed and I have severe osteoarthritis and patellar tendinitis. The right knee is shot with osteoarthritis, patellar tendinitis and said within 5 years (estimated) the cartilage will probably be so worn I will be bone on bone. Then proceeds to tell me I need to lose another 50 pounds before they will consider surgery. I can handle that. I will lose 50 pounds before the end of the year not really a big deal to me. Then he tells me because I am so young he does not recommend it. He said because they last only 15 years at best that I would have to have multiple surgeries and each surgery becomes riskier. So he basically said to continue on until the pain is unbearable before I have my knee replacement. I asked him about the bone on bone and he said that is fixable in surgery.

Being that I've lost so much weight I thought I was going to be able to do so many things which is why I am so devasted because it means my knees will still hold me back. So my questions are:
1. Has anyone experienced a knee surgery at a "young" age (under 40)? What was the turnout? Any regrets?
2. Has anyone experienced having a 2nd knee replacement? How bad was it compared to the 1st one?
3. Anyone at any age have any feedback or advice?

I think that is all of my questions for now. I don't know a whole lot and this is so new to me that I will probably end up having more questions. But your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: 34 years old and need total knee replacement
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 08:58:05 PM »
Congrats on your weight loss to date!

I had my tkr at 43 - my consultant was quite adamant that I should keep my weight down to preserve the new knee - I had my knee nearly 6 years ago, last year I gave up smoking and put on 26 bs - boy do I feel that in my knees! Both of them! The other knee is awaiting surgery at the moment.  I do know for sure that when these extra lbs go the pain to some extent will go with them !   It is incredible how much difference ' a few' lbs makes, so If I were you I would keep up with the weight loss and get it off as soon as possible and then re assess the need for surgery. I left it quite  awhile before I had my surgery after it was decided it was the only way forward - I actually left it untill It was intollerable.

The other thing you must do is physio pre surgery - you need your supporting muscles in tip top a condition as possible to facilitate a good post op recovery - in fact you may find that doing the physio may mean you can delay the surgery!

Good luck.
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)